Philadelphia Eagles News

Recapping a busy Monday as Eagles' plan for 2020 starts to unfold 

(EDITOR'S NOTE: This was updated Tuesday morning with the news that quarterback Nate Sudfeld agreed to stay with the Eagles on a one-year deal.)

Day 1 of the NFL's legal negotiating period is in the books, so let's recap what's official (remember, we can't comment on reports that players have agreed to sign with the Eagles until Wednesday at 4 PM) from a very busy Monday ...

1. The Eagles made their first move addressing the defensive tackle position when they agreed to terms on a one-year contract with Hassan Ridgeway, a player who joined the team last season during a draft-weekend trade with Indianapolis. Ridgeway is an interesting guy – powerful and explosive – who just hasn't found his comfort zone in the NFL. Maybe working in as a depth tackle for the Eagles will be the sweet spot for Ridgeway in 2020. He has a handle on the system and he's shown the Eagles enough to warrant a deal.

At this very instant, subject to change as we know, the Eagles have Fletcher Cox and Malik Jackson as the penciled-in starters with Ridgeway and Anthony Rush as the reserves. As we have learned through the years, you just can't have enough depth at defensive tackle. The Eagles had this in mind last year when they added Jackson and planned to crush blocking schemes from the inside-out. They can still add to the position, and if they do it would mean so much for the defense. With the edge situation one that is going to be so interesting to watch – the Eagles have eight ends on the roster right now, hoping that a few of the younger ends develop to help Brandon Graham and Derek Barnett – the team is positioning itself to dominate inside.

2. Running back Corey Clement has been saddled with injuries the last two seasons after playing such a starring role in the Eagles' Super Bowl run of 2017. He'll be free to sign with any team after the Eagles announced that they would not tender him as a restricted free agent. Clement can play special teams, he can help as a spot runner, and he can catch the football out of the backfield. Good luck to Clement finding a new home in the NFL. Great kid.

3. At the same time, let's take a look at the running backs currently on the roster. It's a talented, young group. Miles Sanders is the No. 1 back as it stands now with Boston Scott as a change-of-pace back. The Eagles want to work with Elijah Holyfield and see him with a full offseason – more on that in a moment – under his belt. The Eagles think that Holyfield can develop into a powerful, physical runner and a guy who can help on special teams. Assistant Head Coach/Running Backs Coach Duce Staley will work with Holyfield and get him right. Jordan Howard, who had played so well in the 1-2 role with Sanders, is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent on Wednesday. Interesting position to watch, for sure.

4. Speaking of the offseason, everything is in question. According to a memo circulated by the NFL, teams are not permitted to bring free agent players to the team facility or have team personnel meet with those players. Physicals are pending as the NFL and the NFLPA develop protocols. Additionally, players currently under contract are not permitted to visit team facilities unless they are having physical rehabilitation. And the April 20 start to the team's offseason conditioning program has been suspended indefinitely.

"It is our responsibility to work together and protect the health, safety and well being of everyone in our business," said NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith. "Nonetheless, public safety is paramount during this national emergency and we will continue to work with the NFL, medical experts and seek guidance from federal agencies to adjust our business practices accordingly."

5. Keeping quarterback Nate Sudfeld for 2020 is a big move, and now the Eagles have three quarterbacks on the roster moving forward with Sudfeld and Kyle Lauletta backing up Carson Wentz. There was a lot of chatter at the end of the season out there that Sudfeld would move on in free agency, and I'm sure he had some options. But Philadelphia and this system work for Sudfeld, who is eager to resume his on-field work after a disappointing 2019. He was on the right track to back up Wentz before suffering that wrist injury in the preseason opener. And then Sudfeld just never got back on the field. Are the Eagles finished adding to the quarterback position? We'll see about that, but for now, they've shored up a vital reserve position.

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